Updated: Oct 30, 2014 6:08 pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014


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The Evil Within Demo

Steam now offers a playable demo for The Evil Within, Bethesda Softworks' recently released survival/horror game. This includes the first three chapters and the opportunity to continue your progress in the full game if you buy it. The Bethesda Blog explains:

In time for Halloween, you can scream on Steam – free (!!) – through three chapters of The Evil Within!

Starting October 30th, you’ll be able to enjoy the first three chapters for free. If you choose to purchase the game after the first three chapters, you’ll be able to continue your save progress, and as an added bonus, we’ll throw more evil your way with a free copy of Call of Cthulhu. Finally, and for a limited time only, we are offering 50% off The Evil Within’s Season Pass!

Already purchased The Evil Within and its Season Pass? Fear not. Those that already have the main game will have Cthulhu added to your library, and purchasers of the Season Pass will receive special offers on other Bethesda titles.

Ships Ahoy - Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition is now available for Windows and OS X, offering the chance to return to this classic Forgotten Realms RPG thanks to Beamdog's modernized remake. This is available from Beamdog, GOG.com, and Steam. Here's the announcement:

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Available!
Evil stirs beneath the Spine of the World.

In the northernmost reaches of the Forgotten Realms lies the region of icy tundra known as Icewind Dale. Journey deep into the Spine of the World mountains, a harsh and unforgiving territory settled by only the hardiest folk. Encounter fearsome beasts that have learned the cunning and ferocity needed to survive among the snow-shrouded peaks. Confront an evil that schemes beneath the carven glaciers and mountainsides to wreak destruction upon the face of Faerun. This is the world of Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition features both Heart of Winter and Trials of the Luremaster expansions, and allows players to experience the epic adventure on Windows and Mac!

Ubisoft Financials - Watch Dogs Sells 9M

Ubisoft offers financial reporting for the first half of fiscal 2014-2015, reporting better-than-expected results and confirming their targets for both 2014-15 and 2015-16. They say Watch Dogs has "sold in" more than 9 million units, and here are some income figures: "Gross margin represented a record 78.1% of sales (€378.1 million) in the first half of 2014-15, up from 68.9% (€202.2 million) for the first six months of 2013-14. This sharp improvement reflects the positive impact of the success of Ubisoft's games and the increasing importance of the digital segment. Ubisoft ended the first half of 2014-15 with non-IFRS operating income of €24.2 million, a significant improvement on the €98.0 million operating loss reported for the same period of 2013-14."

Gone Gold - Far Cry 4

UbiBlog announces that Far Cry 4 is gold, and the shooter sequel will be released worldwide on November 18th for Windows, OS X, and Linux. They have high hopes for this, as GameSpot notes that Ubisoft said during its earnings conference call that they expect to sell six million copies of Far Cry 4 in the first year. They celebrate the news with a rundown on what to expect from the game and some reflections on its development. Here's a bit:

In Far Cry 4, players will become Ajay Ghale, a man born in Kyrat but raised in the United States. Ajay returns to the fictional Himalayan nation for personal reasons, only to become embroiled in a bloody civil war. With Kyrat, Far Cry 4 is set to deliver the franchise’s most ambitious world yet – a diverse region with a wide array of ecosystems and a richly realized cast of characters.

And then there’s co-op. Take one of the best parts of Far Cry – the open-world gameplay in which every second delivers a new story – and then bring in a friend. While you can still enjoy the entire experience solo, you now have “lots and lots of opportunities where it will be twice as much fun or twice as interesting or twice as funny with another person,” says Creative Director Alex Hutchinson.

Far Cry 4 is a major leap forward for the franchise. The story is fully integrated into the overall experience, with your choices making a real difference in a civil war that’s roiling Kyrat. The open-world is packed with surprises. The addition of open-world co-op allows gamers to double their fun in new and creative ways. And the PvP delivers a true Far Cry experience this time: pitting the rebel Golden Path ‘I’M PROUD OF BOTH THE QUALITY AND THE SHEER VOLUME IN FAR CRY 4′ against the mythical warriors of the Rakshasa, the asymmetrical competitive multiplayer is set on 10 maps based on familiar Kyrati locations, and uses animals (including elephants) and vehicles in 5v5 matchups across 3 distinct modes.

Diablo III Bonus Weekend

Battle.net has word from Blizzard that Diablo III players will receive double experience and gold this weekend:

This weekend, we invite you to take part in a celebration honoring these ancient ghosts of the fallen. All mortals who log in to Diablo III this weekend on any platform will receive a +100% bonus to Gold Find and EXP! As with previous buffs, the bonuses provided will stack multiplicatively with existing in-game bonuses, including those provided by items, shrines, Pools of Reflection, and Paragon points.

This bonus Gold Find and Experience period begins in the Americas region on Friday, October 31 at 12:00 a.m. PDT and ends on Monday, November 3 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

Europa Universalis IV Art of War Released

Paradox Interactive announces the release of the Art of War expansion for Europa Universalis IV, their grand strategy sequel for Windows, Linux, and OS X. They show off the expansion in a new launch trailer, which is accompanied by a new version 1.8 patch which includes features for the base game as well as the add-on. They announced this as a reference to Machiavelli, but are now shifting to Sun Tsu:

"Sun Tzu said that it is best to win without fighting at all, but if one must fight, preparation is the key to victory," says Martin Anward, lead designer on Art of War. "With over nine hundred new provinces, over a hundred new nations and the addition of major religious wars that ravage a continent, preparation will be essential in the Art of War if you hope to guide your nation through four centuries of expanded, enriched gameplay and emerge as one of the winners of history."

Inspired by the passion and tragedy of the Thirty Years War, Art of War brings the military aspects of Europa Universalis IV into high relief by adding new military mechanics. New challenges await your empire, but new opportunities as well. If you are starved for manpower, why not turn your vassal into a March, and use its soldiers to buttress your own? Force the Holy Roman Empire to convert to Protestantism and undo centuries of tradition.

Continue here to read the full story.

Assassin's Creed Unity Time Anomaly Revealed

The UbiBlog has a new feature on Assassin's Creed Unity offering the first look at a "time anomaly" feature, a new addition to the stealth/assassination series. They are fairly tightlipped about this, saying "we want to leave you with some big surprises," but they include this trailer to scour for further clues. Are you ready to have your mind blown? Hopefully the answer is yes, because they actually say the video is "going to blow your mind." Continue here to read the full story.

Steamships Ahoy - BlazeRush

Developer Targem Games announces the release of the Windows edition of BlazeRush on Steam, saying the top-down shooter is on sale for 15% off for the first week, while a 25% discount is available for four-packs. They also announce a cross-promotion for players of Star Conflict, their free-to-play multiplayer space shooter. Here's word on the game and what makes it different:

In a new twist to the arcade racing genre, BlazeRush does away with the traditional damage counters and health bars to keep the ferociously fast races in progress. The only way for a player to die is by falling off the death defying track and plummeting to the landscape far below.

Designed with local multiplayer in mind, BlazeRush allows up to four players shared-screen local play and up to eight players online, with a very simple pick up and play control style. With the ‘drop in’ system, one player can start racing against bots, and then as other players join the bots are removed.

The game includes sixteen playable vehicles, all of which have notably different handling and racing capabilities, ranging from heavy tracked crawlers to light race cars and hovercrafts. Additionally, players can choose from a vast assortment of weapon power-ups to use against racing opponents, such as pushing, throwing, stunning or slowing down other vehicles on the track. It’s not just about winning the race, there is also the constant challenge of trying to knock out rivals while keeping your vehicle on the track.

Continue here to read the full story.

Clandestine Early Access

Steam early access is now underway for Clandestine, Logic Artists' asymmetrical co-op shooter set in the 90s, where any self-respecting infiltration involved an operative assisted by a hacker with access to the target's computer systems. They say early access customers will be rewarded with a free copy of the game's first DLC, and they also offer a discount on two-packs. It also bears noting that the game's minimum specs are generally modest, but do call for 4GB of RAM. "We’re so excited to launch Clandestine on Early Access so that we can start gathering player feedback and incorporate that into the final version of the game," said Jonas Wæver, creative director at Logic Artists. "We know that players will enjoy this unique asymmetrical cooperative gameplay and look forward to hearing what they think!" They also reassure early access customers that they will not have the game's story spoiled for them:

With Clandestine launching on Early Access, developers guarantee a spoiler FREE version, meaning that players have access to four Challenge maps to experience the core mechanics of the game without giving away Clandestine’s intricate plot through the Story mode which will be available in the full launch version. In addition to the Challenge maps, Logic Artists has introduced three playable game modes, including Cleaner, Smash & Grab and Exfiltrate.

The ‘Spy’ and ‘Hacker’ characters, central to the theme and gameplay, also each have unique features and abilities that must be used together harmoniously in order to achieve success. The Spy has a selection of weapons to equip, including three pistols (PPK, SR1, MK23), two ammo types (Lethal, Non-lethal), gadgets and grenades (Banshee, Remote Pager, Remote Modem, Fragmentation Grenade, Flashbang) and two outfits (Tactical Gear, Low Profile - civilian outfit), as well as a lock-picking option to help infiltrate secure areas without calling attention to themselves. The ‘Hacker’ player in Clandestine holds the important role of blocking security cameras, bribing guards, hacking security doors, arranging dead drops of ammo and health, guiding the Spy through intricate mazes, alerting the Spy to nearby danger and generally providing instructions about what is going on outside of the Spy’s visual field. For the Early Access launch, Logic Artists has also included the ability for the Hacker to tag enemies so that they are visible to the Spy, even through walls.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Trailer

This "Discover Your Power" video promotes Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with some live-action, because it is apparently difficulty to get Hollywood directors like Peter Berg to work with video game characters, who do not take kindly to feedback. Word is: "Suit up and unleash the raw power of the advanced soldier in the live action trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Directed by Peter Berg and starring Taylor Kitsch and Emily Ratajkowski, fight your way through a series of enemy forces and discover new movements, capabilities and weaponry along the way in this heart-racing journey through 2059 Lagos." Continue here to read the full story.

F1 2014 Trailer

A new trailer from F1 2014 shows off another hot lap in Codemasters' recently released Formula One simulation, showing off the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, site this weekend's United States Grand Prix. Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Patches

On Sale

The Steam Halloween sale is underway, offering discounts on no fewer than 436 titles.

  • Auditorium on Steam. Save 60%. Save 60%.
  • BioShock Infinite Season Pass on Amazon. Save 50%.
  • Fractal: Make Blooms Not War on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Humble Weekly Bundle: Halloween on Humble Bundle.
  • Intake on Steam. Save 60%.
  • King's Bounty: Dark Side on Steam. Save 50%.
  • Splice on Steam. Save 60%.
  • Watch_Dogs on Steam. Save 40%.
  • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter on Steam. Save 10%.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Evening Interviews

Evening Previews

  • Assassin's Creed Rogue on UbiBlog.

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Paul Reubens Announces a New Pee-wee Herman Movie on ‘The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon’. Thanks nin. "There's a lotta things about me you don't know anything about, Dottie. Things you wouldn't understand. Things you couldn't understand. Things you shouldn't understand."

PC Valkyria Chronicles Includes DLC; Preorders Underway

Following hints and a confirmation earlier this week that a PC edition of Valkyria Chronicles is in the works, SEGA announces details on their plans to bring this strategic RPG to Windows. They say it should be available for preorder soon if not already through various digital distributors, and that it will include all of the DLC release for the PS3 edition. Here's word:

In the words of series’ favorite, Aika Thompson, “we’re just getting warmed up!” If you saw the news on twitter on Monday night, which saw ‘Valkyria Chronicles™’ trending worldwide, you’ll know that some eagle-eyed reporters spotted Valkyria Chronicles listed for PC on PEGI’s website. Well, we were going to tell you all about it tomorrow, but we have all the details for pre-ordering and content available at launch right here, right now.

In Valkyria Chronicles, for those who don’t know, players embark on an epic adventure through beautiful environments and battle legions of troops to save the small country of Gallia from total destruction. Valkyria Chronicles is set in a fictitious continent reminiscent of 1930s Europe on the verge of a great war. The game follows Welkin and his fellow soldiers of the Federation’s 7th Platoon that are fighting against the Empire, who is intent on unifying the continent under its power. The emergence of the “Valkyria”- an ancient race with special powers thought to exist only in legends, turns the tide of the war and the Federation’s ability to win and a hope for a better future hangs in the balance.

This Strategy RPG was a critical success, garnering a whopping 86% on Metacritic and even earned a Guinness World Record in 2010 for being the best Strategy RPG on PS3. Valkyria Chronicles will launch for Windows PC via Digital Download on November 11, 2014 and will come bundled with all the DLC that was available for the original PlayStation 3 game including:

  • Hard EX Mode (harder versions of skirmish missions in the main game)
  • Edy’s Mission “Enter the Edy Detachment” (a side story campaign)
  • Selveria’s Mission “Behind Her Blue Flame” (a side story campaign)
  • Challenge of the Edy Detachment (six challenge missions)

So you can pre-order now and pick up this award winning, critically acclaimed strategy RPG that’s so good it announced itself, for £14.99/€19.99/$19.99 from selected digital retail partners.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor - Lord of the Hunt Announced

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announces details on Lord of the Hunt, the first DLC for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, which is coming to Monolith Productions' Tolkien-inspired action game this year. Here is some concept art and a trailer along with word on what to expect:

In Lord of the Hunt, Sauron has dispatched lethal Beastmaster Warchiefs to exterminate the monsters of Mordor. Talion will join Torvin the Dwarven Hunter and use his powers of Domination to turn these menacing new beasts against the Warchiefs, proving that Mordor cannot be tamed.

  • New Story & Lore – Discover more tales from Torvin, the Dwarven Hunter, as you work together to tame the beasts of Mordor and fight Sauron’s minions.
  • New Nemeses – Face off against the Beastmaster Warchiefs, powerful new Uruks who have the ability to ride monsters and engage in perilous mounted combat.
  • New Monsters – Ride into battle on the Wretched Graug to vomit toxin at your foes, stalk your enemies on the predatory Caragath and attack from the shadows or raise an all-consuming Ghul Horde.
  • New Missions & Challenges – New Beast Hunting challenges and collectibles open up new trophies and achievements.
  • New Epic Runes – Make your Mount unstoppable with five new epic Runes that make you the ultimate hunter.
  • Test of the Wild – Test your skills against the Beastmasters and mount your trophies on the leaderboard.
  • New Character Skin – Lord of the Hunt skin transform Talion into the ultimate Beastmaster.

Continue here to read the full story.

Total War: ROME II Halloween Update

SEGA announces a new update is now live in Total War: ROME II, adding a Halloween celebration to Creative Assembly's RTS sequel. There are no details about this on their haphazard news page, but it is discussed in their Rally Point video Episode 22, which also covers the upcoming ATILLA expansion. Here's word on the patch:

Live now, the latest free update for Total War™: ROME II adds the festival of Lemuria to the game and a new seasonal challenge, Nightmare Mode!

Lemuria was an ancient feast during which restless spirits were exorcised from the home with the alternate offering of beans and then clashing of cooking pots. Perhaps an early Roman version of Trick or Treat?

Nightmare Mode can be toggled on from the game options menu, causing your troops to suffer horrifying visions in battle. Harpies descend from the skies as a terrifying atmosphere envelopes your forces. Assailed by such apparitions it is no surprise that your soldiers will find the enemy extremely frightening!

Any generals skilled enough to complete a Campaign battle in Nightmare Mode will earn a new Steam achievement and the adoration of their peers. May the gods help you if you try to complete a whole campaign…

Continue here to read the full story.

Dragon Age Keep Open Demo

EA announces that open beta testing is now underway for Dragon Age Keep, a web-based tie-in with Dragon Age: Inquisition, the next installment in BioWare's RPG series. Those interested in participating can head over to the Dragon Age Keep website and sign in with an Origin account. This new trailer shows off what to expect, and here's a further explanation:

BioWare™, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA), today announced that the Dragon Age™ Keep is now available in open beta. The Dragon Age Keep is a revolutionary story creation web app that will give gamers and BioWare fans an opportunity to discover and shape the legacy, heroes and world around their personal story in Dragon Age: Inquisition, the highly anticipated, next generation RPG launching starting on November 18. To access Dragon Age Keep* from a modern web browser, players can visit www.dragonagekeep.com and log-in with their Origin account.

“The story of Dragon Age is truly immense and filled with rich characters, beautiful and deadly locales and incredible events which have shaped the world players will experience in Dragon Age: Inquisition,” said Aaryn Flynn, General Manager of BioWare Edmonton and Montreal. “Dragon Age Keep is an opportunity for players who are both new to the franchise and those who have played past games to forge the key moments in the lore, creating a personalized and customized experience when Inquisition launches starting on November 18.”

Dragon Age Keep will allow gamers to make key decisions and mold their own Dragon Age history while watching their choices unfold before their eyes through the visual tapestry layout. From defining the heroes, to exploring the World of Thedas and its many influential and memorable personalities, players will be able to shape the story set in the months preceding the cataclysm that begins the events in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Players will also be able to share their stories with their friends and compare their progress across games within the franchise.

Continue here to read the full story.

Scream Fortress VI Underway

The Team Fortress website has word that the annual Scream Fortress Halloween celebration is now underway in Team Fortress 2, Valve's multiplayer shooter. This update outlines what to expect:

Very soon, fear-fans, the Halloween update other game companies aren't BRAVE enough to give you is coming! And those other companies are right to be hesitant! Last year's Scream Fortress update hit Valve with a tidal wave of wrongful death lawsuits! That's right: Everyone who played last year's update DIED mysteriously! The only clue was that everyone's hair had turned snow-white!

They died of FEAR, reader! Or possibly premature hair-graying! We're not doctors. No, OUR jobs are to be your ringmasters at this year's Scream Fortress Update! Check out the teaser Update Page to get a taste of what's coming!

Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms – Final Early Access Update

bitComposer Games announces a final update to the early access version of Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms on Steam, saying this adds a new playable character and completes the second chapter of the action/RPG, paving the way for its planned full release on November 13th. This announcement has full details, and here's the Reader's Digest version: "Today, bitComposer Games and Games Farm are releasing the final update to the Early Access version of Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms. The highlight of the update is a new playable character: Sebekan Slaver. Additionally, there are new areas to explore, new enemies to battle and new quests to complete. The user interface has also been reworked and the crafting system has been expanded. Meaning that the 2nd chapter of the action RPG can now be played in full!"

The Long Dark Alpha Grows

A Steam Community announcement has details on an update to the early access version of The Long Dark (thanks Instant Karma via VG247), adding a Coastal Highway zone which doubles the size of the alpha sandbox in the survival game (the update was followed by a quick hotfix). Word on the new version is: "Game tuning around the new region is WIP and will be constantly modified based on further internal testing and feedback from external playtesters (i.e. all of you). Please note that the availability of Supplies, the distribution and density of wildlife, distances between shelters, etc. are constantly being refined. Also, keep in mind that the game is now being tuned around a larger Sandbox experience -- this means that some Regions might be more suitable for certain activities, and Supply distribution is more regionalized." Here's a rundown on the game itself:

The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-focused survival experience set in the Northern wilderness in the aftermath of a global disaster. Brave the elements and other survivors, hunt for supplies, explore the world, uncover the mystery, answer the question: How far will you go to survive?

Skyhill Demo

The Mandragora website now offers playable Windows and OS X demos of Skyhill, their upcoming roguelike survival game. The demos show off how they've redesigned the game in response to the reaction to the first showings of a raw build of the game. The rough state of the game at that time scuttled their Indiegogo campaign and has left their Steam Greenlight campaign stalled, so they are eager to show off a more true vision of what they have planned. Here's a description:

Skyhill is a story based game about survival in randomly generated hotel during post-apocalypse. All game action is in this building. Our hero is on the last floor of it where the richest people live, isn’t it nice? However, suddenly apocalypse begins! The hotel is full of the aggressive neighbors! No food, no weapons. And in these conditions player must begin his path to survive in 100 floors.

Features:

  • Full randomly generated building of 100 floors;
  • Crafting;
  • Fallout type fightings;
  • Story line is not simple as you could think!
  • Quest elements with classic roguelike style;
  • Experience progress;
  • Upgrades for the home;
  • Permanent death!

Bezier Open Beta

Open beta testing is now underway for Bezier, a Windows twin-stick shooter that indie developer Niine Games has been working on for the last siix six years. The open beta is offered through Desura, and this trailer shows off some gameplay. Here's word on what to expect: "After six years of development PC indie blaster Bezier is now available to play in a free open beta hosted by Desura. Bezier is a dual stick blaster set inside a vast computer built deep underground. The story traces the principal's escape from this "Noah's Ark" gone wrong. A simple shooter on the surface, the deeper narrative pulls in his relationship between evolution and god, family and love. These themes question his motives, force him to confront what is real and lead him to salvation." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants on winning the World Series. Though I wasn't very invested, I couldn't help pulling for the Royals, as baseball makes by far the least effort of the four major American sports to balance the playing field for teams in smaller markets, making most of the teams underdogs (historically five teams have won more than half the 109 World Series). Also, its completely inappropriate for championship celebrations to result in violence, so reports of shootings and a stabbing as a result of this are very upsetting.

And with the Knicks getting blown out in their season opener, I remind all pool participants that it's time to get NFL Week Nine picks in.

Small Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Monkey Go Happy Halloween.
Castle Lite.
Wandering Eyes.
Science: Virus recreated after 700 years in icy caribou poo.
Worsen a laser to improve it.
Media: I'm Pooping So Bad.
What Father And Son Get Up To When Mom Leaves (remix).
Tricky Landing - Windy Madeira Airport.
The Funnies: BYOD Meets Internet of Things.

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Wednesday, Oct 29, 2014

Take-Two Financials

Take-Two Interactive beat expectations with the fiscal Q2 2015 results they released today, showing a GAAP net loss of $41.4 million and a non-GAAP net loss of $35.4M, causing them to raise their outlook for the year. Word is: "For fiscal second quarter 2015, GAAP net revenue was $126.3 million, as compared to $148.8 million for fiscal second quarter 2014. GAAP net loss from continuing operations narrowed to $41.4 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, as compared to a net loss of $124.1 million, or $1.40 per diluted share, for the year-ago period. GAAP results for fiscal second quarter 2014 excluded net revenue and cost of goods sold related to sell-in of the Grand Theft Auto V® game during that quarter, as Grand Theft Auto Online launched during fiscal third quarter 2014."

Natural Selection 2: Combat Friday; Livestream Underway

Unknown Worlds website has details on Natural Selection 2: Combat, saying this will be released on Friday on Steam as a standalone game after originally being developed as a modification for Natural Selection 2, their multiplayer shooter. NS2: Combat turns Natural Selection 2 into an aliens vs. space marines MOBA, which they describe like so: "NS2: Combat includes seven different player-controllable lifeforms, a vault full of weapons and abilities, a stats system, full modding support and 5 original maps. Games last around 15 minutes and players may join and leave at any time. You can try unique abilities such as 'Devour', where the largest alien eats her enemies, or pilot the hulking mechanized 'Exo Suit' and punch aliens in the face." The chance for an extended look at the game is underway on Twitch where developer Faultline Games is in the midst of a 96 hour livestream marathon session to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières' fight against Ebola.

Square Heroes Released

Square Heroes is now available on Desura, offering a stylized arena shooter for Windows, OS X, and Linux that's a sequel to Square Off. Here's word: "Square Heroes is a comical arena shooter with local, LAN and online multiplayer; a single player Tournament, and an arsenal of weapons to blast your friends out the sky. Square Heroes combines the competition of twitch shooters, local multiplayer fun of Goldeneye with an art style reminiscent of Worms. The final level in the single player tournament is an unexpected twist from the previous levels with an insane fight that we hope will be spoken of for years to come."

Company of Heroes 2 Mod Tools & Observation Mode

SEGA announces a couple of community-requested features for Company of Heroes 2 are out of beta, saying Relic's World War II RTS sequel now supports an observer mode, and also now offers modification tools for the creation of custom content. Here's word on the mod tools: "Allowing players to modify existing content to refine the game experience and giving them options to establish their own win conditions and game rules will ultimately create even more and diverse content available for everyone to enjoy." And here's the deal on observation mode:

Observer Mode allows players to sync up and watch live multiplayer matches as they unfold. The feature will let them view games from a variety of different angles, at different speeds and player perspectives and grants access to live data that was previously inaccessible. It provides viewers the opportunity to analyze strategies and learn from the best players in the world. Players can also broadcast their feed through our integrated Twitch interface and showcase their skills to a broader audience.

Endless Legend Adds Content & Mod Tools

An update to Endless Legend on Steam adds modification tools to the strategy game, as well as a new Halloween-themed quest. Full details can be found here, and here's the short version: "The highly popular 4X fantasy-strategy game that resonated with fans and critics this September on Steam will now offer powerful modding tools enabling gamers to add new faction traits, technology, city improvements, items, skills, and more, plus an all new Halloween-inspired quest: “A Tale from the Dark Season”. The quest will unlock a special Halloween prize for the players that complete it…"

Steamships Ahoy - The Detail Episode One

Steam now offers Where the Dead Lie for Windows, OS X, and Linux, the first episode of The Detail, kicking off the crime adventure series by offering it at a 10% discount. Here's word:

Controlling the actions of a bitter veteran detective investigating a brutal gangland murder and a reformed criminal trying to protect his family, the player is forced to make tough choices and deal with the resulting consequences of those moral dilemmas. The gameplay focuses on storytelling through point n’ click gameplay mixed with interactive comics, and is completed by a professional audio track.

Assassin's Creed Unity GeForce Video

The GeForce website now offers a new trailer from Assassin's Creed Unity showing off GeForce-exclusive visual effects the stealth action sequel will feature thanks to NVIDIA Gameworks support. Here's word on these features:

Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself; here are some extra details about the features that flew by in that spectacular video:

  • NVIDIA HBAO+ adds realistic Ambient Occlusion shadowing and shading around objects and surfaces that occlude light, with a higher degree of precision than other AO techniques, significantly improving image quality in every scene.
  • NVIDIA Percentage-Closer Soft Shadows add contact hardening soft shadows throughout the game, increasing image quality in every scene.
  • NVIDIA GeometryWorks Advanced Tessellation adds real DirectX 11-powered geometric detail to roads, rooftops, buildings, and many more game elements, improving the realism and detail level of almost every game scene. Furthermore, with the addition of real geometric detail, enhanced surfaces and objects can be accurately shaded and shadowed by HBAO+ and PCSS, increasing realism and graphical fidelity by an even greater degree.
  • NVIDIA TXAA temporal anti-aliasing eliminates the distracting movement of anti-aliased lines and edges, and also eliminates other artifacts associated with anti-aliasing. Edge anti-aliasing is comparable with 8xMSAA, but at the performance cost of 4xMSAA.

You’ll also receive the usual PC benefits such as improved textures, effects and assets, along with control options, faster framerates, the ability to render the game at higher resolutions, such as 4K, and the ability to play the game at a higher resolution on your HD monitor with new NVIDIA Dynamic Super Resolution (DSR) technology.

Continue here to read the full story.

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

On Sale

  • Infinite Space III: Sea of Stars on Bundle Stars. Save 75%.
  • Machines At War 3 on Steam. Save 33%.
  • The Red Solstice on Steam. Save 40%.
  • Sanitarium on Steam. Save 40%.

Evening Patches

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

etc., etc.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Car vs Gate. Just... wow. Thanks Verno.

R.I.P.: 'House of Cards' Actress Elizabeth Norment Dead at 61.

Star Citizen at $59M

A new Letter from the Chairman on the Roberts Space Industries website announces that Star Citizen has now passed $59 million in crowd-sourced funding. They describe the new stretch goal ship this will bring to the game, and outline the next goal in a fundraising campaign that seems as open-ended as space itself. Word from Chris Roberts is: "none of this would be possible without backers like you." The chairman also discusses plans to show off the space game at PAX Australia: "The team is hard at work prepping for the PAX Australia demo, and we’re all looking forward to giving an audience of Star Citizen’s backers their first look at something extremely cool this weekend. I think you’re going to be surprised: the FPS module isn’t an aside… it’s a fully featured game in and of itself!" Thanks 88fingers.

Crusader: No Remorse Free on Origin

Origin's On the House program now offers Crusader: No Remorse as a free game for those with Origin accounts (thanks VG247). The offer may be revoked at any time, but the game will yours to keep once claimed. Here's a refresher on the 1995 action game, which was developed by the original Origin:

As a Silencer, one of the elite enforcers of the World Economic Consortium, you're supposed to be incorruptible. But if the system you serve is utterly corrupt, where does that leave you? You go over to the Resistance, the same pack you used to hunt down. Now, your former employers better watch their backs because you're coming after them with all the firepower at your command.

No pity. No mercy. No Remorse.

Gunscape Wins at PAX AU

Blowfish Studios announces Gunscape won the PAX Australia indie showcase even though the show is not yet underway, saying "their innovative and groundbreaking feature-packed FPS builder, has won the PAX Australia Indie Showcase, and is presented and demoed during the event taking place between October 31st and November 2nd at stand #AIS5." For those not in attendance, the pre-alpha version of this crafty shooter is available on its official website for Windows, OS X, and Linux. Those who are at the show have a chance to compete in some tournaments: "We are holding our first public Gunscape tournaments at PAX Australia! If you can visit our booth on any of the 3 days you might be able to play for 1 of 6 coveted, extremely, limited edition Gunscape figurines." Also, there's a preview of Gunscape on Grab It (thanks Ant via Slashdot).

Torment: Tides of Numenera at $4.75M

The Torment: Tides of Numenera website has that inXile entertainment's upcoming RPG has hit another stretch goal, which was set for when inXile entertainment's upcoming RPG hit the $4.75M mark (thanks Acleacius). They say this increases the size of the game Bloom by about 10%, but there's no indication at this point that this will invoke another delay. Here's the outline of the specific changes this goal triggers:

All pledges are applied to improving Torment: Tides of Numenera, but with this Stretch Goal, one specific improvement we can commit to is restoring the Gullet to the Bloom, per George Ziets' original design. We had cut this area to control scope of the Bloom zone. Restoring it to the design would complete George's original vision for the Bloom and increase its scope by roughly 10%.

EVE Online Phoebe Update Next Week

CCP announces Phoebe, saying the next major content release for EVE Online should launch on November 4th for their sci-fi MMORPG. In short: "Get your Fleet Commanders to the war room and your industrialists back in the labs, because some major changes are on the horizon. Nullsec force projection, invention on steroids, an unshackled skill queue and a whole lot more are headed your way in Phoebe, 2014’s fifth feature release." This trailer takes a look at development and this page has tons of details in several different articles on the expansion. Continue here to read the full story.

WildStar Realm Transfers

The WildStar Forums announce realm transfers to improve the "health" of PvP servers in Carbine's MMORPG since their "megaserver" deployment (thanks Massively). Here's word:

As of 10/28/14, once NA servers come back online, we will enable free PvP to PvE and PvE to PvP realm transfers. You will be able to transfer from PvP to PvE servers and vice-versa, for free, for your games account region. Normal realm transfer rules will still apply, for more information on server transfer restrictions please see this Support article.

For the time being, these transfers will remain open indefinitely, but we will be closely monitoring the situation and if we feel it necessary we will remove this service. Rest assured, we will ensure to give you appropriate notice if we do decide to shut these free transfers down, as well as an explanation as to why.

We expect there will be some concerns about players using PvE servers to level up, without the dangers of a PvP server, and then transferring across once they reach max level, however we felt that ensuring the health and community of each server is more vital. We will be keeping a close eye on things for any shenanigans or foul play though.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

Today is opening day for the NBA. For the Knicks, this marks the beginning of the Phil Jackson era. Can he save the team from the ownership's seeming indifference towards winning? I don't know. But as the only executive in the league with a Knicks championship ring, he brings more hope than we've had in a long time (and if you're kind, you won't throw Dave DeBusschere back at me to undermine that point).

Hoop Hope Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Wandering Eyes.
Yuyu Hakusho Wars.
Wrestle Jump.
Links: Steam user delighted by crap in Steam inventory.
The World's Greatest Counterfeiter. Thanks nin.
'Operation' game inventor can't afford his surgery. Thanks ViperFour.
Stories: Butter mess shuts down Merritt Parkway. Yup, truck full of butter clogs major artery.
Marvel Debuts New Phase 3 Movies, Including Avengers: Infinity War.
Katz’s Delicatessen: How the iconic deli stays in business against the odds.
Science: Thermal paper cash register receipts account for high BPA levels in humans.
Images: Astronaut Chris Hadfield took 45,000 photos from space—here are some of the best. Thanks Digg.
Media: Get a Special Look at Marvel's "Avengers: Age of Ultron". Thanks nin.
Antares Rocket Explodes On Launch.
Horse snores during its own rescue. Thanks nin.



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